In his life, Gene-Gene has had one constant. His love for animals. When I was at a race in 2002, Darien was born at my in-laws. Darien, a small, but loving cat. Loving if you were my son. Indifferent, at best, to the rest of the family. Most cats in homes with huskies die by Husky. Not Darien. When Mani-Nana came into our lives, he sidled up to her and swatted her across the nose. She never bothered a cat at all. Darien was not tolerating that.
|Darien did not want to be left behind.|
This week he seemed cold. I held him. He was not in distress. I know animals in distress and Darien was thin, but not hunching, he ate, etc. Early Friday morning I noticed he was on my bed. I asked my husband to take him to Gene. He was sleeping, but he had a tendency to eat the bed. For a six pound cat, he needed room. At 5 Gene-Gene came in and said Darien was throwing up. At 5:45 he came back in and said it was time. Darien had begun seizing without notice, except for the vomiting, which was new. The vet opened at 8. At 7:10 we went to check on Darien and Gene-Gene. Gene-Gene was asleep. his hand on Darien's head. Darien was gone. It must have happened quietly, and peacefully. He was sick for an hour. Truly sick. He hung on and did not let on, for a long time. They were together. I know he had an hour of pain, but that was it. I've been over and over if we missed suffering, I don't think so. We, as a family, do not tolerate suffering in an animal who cannot understand. Darien just got a little sicker, at a time, so it was his norm. He died like he was born and lived, with the boy that chose him and that he chose.
I can't make this better for my son. He is still waters, and they run very deep. He does not think I understand that, but I do. He fights to keep emotion off his face. Part of it is his Tourette's. Those ticks happen, but rarely now. Part of it is Gene is stoic.
Darien will be followed by other cats. Gene-Gene has another one, but Darien was more than a cat. They were best friends. He is buried in a box in our garden, wrapped in a shelter snuggle I knit for him when he got thin. I put a note in a plastic bag in the box that tells anyone who finds him who he was and what he meant to my son. It will outlast his remains. We will remove it in a few years, so the ground does not have the plastic in it.
Darien was more than a cat. Gene-Gene is more than a normal boy. Yes, he treats me like yesterday's dog doo, but he loves me and his father deeply. Far more so than he will ever let on.
Darien was a part of my son and I don't know how to fix it. I can't. Time will. Love will. Just being there. Love and acceptance is what he needs. I want to do that and not smother. I would smother if he would let me. I respect his need not to be. Today he goes to work on his volunteer work. He needs to. He is running out of time and he needs time to breathe.
Yesterday, he slept.
We think the loss of an animal is not as important as the loss of a person. I say, that depends on the animal and the person who lost him. Darien was a member of the family. Cherished, loved, depended on. Darien was there when Gene-Gene's Tourette's was so bad he could not speak a sentence. School was a nightmare. Darien did not tease, no laugh, just accepted. A true friend. Someone who can never be replaced. I loved Darien too, but Gene-Gene, I can never explain that to anyone.
You either get it, or you don't.
We will miss you D. Eugene, most of all.